An inventor from Bushey is hoping to increase the number of cyclists wearing helmets by inventing the world’s first folding helmet.

Inventor Jeff Woolf OBE has designed and developed Morpher - a folding helmet that has been created to help encourage helmet use by making it simpler and easier to own one.

The flat-folding and portable design is easier to carry than a traditional helmet and Mr Woolf hopes it will encourage more people to remain safe.

Mr Woolf, from Mayfield Court in Bushey, came up with the idea after he was in a serious cycle accident.

He said: "I had a really bad cycle accident around 15-years-ago when I was hit by a speeding car and thrown off of my bike at high speed - head first.

"I broke my shoulder and ribs but luckily I was wearing a helmet, which took the brunt of the force. The helmet was ruined but my head was intact so I was incredibly fortunate."

Mr Woolf started to notice that people riding Boris bikes in London were not wearing a helmet - and commissioned research to discover why.

He found the vast majority of commuters felt helmets were too bulky to carry around all day on the off chance they may want to hire a bike.

Mr Woolf continued: "With more and more people riding every day, I wanted to see if I could help to reverse this trend of not wearing a helmet."

"It was a pretty simple leap of logic to try to design a helmet that could fold up when not in use and so that’s what I have spent almost three years doing."

Mr Woolf, who has twice won ‘British Inventor of the year’, continued: "I love inventing and innovation. A good invention for me is one that simplifies a process or makes it better in some way."

The folding helmet has already won three international innovation and design awards.

Mr Woolf himself was awarded an OBE in 2000 for services to innovation and business. He is from a long line of inventors - with his late grandfather, Stanley Wagner, inventing the Jif lemon and his late mother, Valerie, inventing accounting systems.

Mr Woolf has had a number of successful previous inventions. In 1993 he developed the MicroMap System - an invention to overcome the problems associated with handling large papermaps outdoors, especially when exposed to the elements.

Morpher will be on sale from Spring 2014, and children’s helmets will follow later in 2014.